To manage technical landing at nearest airports for refilling
Kathmandu, September 29
Following the issuance of a notice to international airlines about the recent crisis being faced in the supply of Aviation Turbine Fuel in Nepal due to the obstruction in import from India, all the international airlines, except China Southern Airlines, have said they will manage ‘technical landing’ at the nearest airports for refilling and continue their flights to Kathmandu.
Tribhuvan International Airport had issued the notice to the foreign carriers on Monday, as per the request of Nepal Oil Corporation. According to the notice, refilling will be barred at TIA till October 5, beginning this afternoon.
In light of the crisis, the airlines were asked to carry sufficient fuel either from their base stations or manage technical landing at an airport nearest to TIA.
Long distance carriers have informed TIA that they would manage technical landing as per their convenience at Lucknow, Dhaka and New Delhi airports, according to Devananda Upadhyay, general manager of TIA.
Altogether 34 international airlines have been operating flights to Kathmandu.
Even though China Southern Airlines had said it would manage technical landing at Lhasa airport during the initial talks with TIA, the airline said it would be unable to fly to Kathmandu from today after the notice was issued.
A notice on the Facebook page of the airline’s office in Kathmandu read, “We are sorry to inform you all that due to aircraft fuel crisis in Nepal, China Southern Airlines has temporarily postponed its Guangzhou-Kathmandu-Guangzhou flights from September 29 to October 10.”
China Southern Airlines used to operate three flights a week to Kathmandu and has said that it will either refund the tickets already bought or re-route the passengers to their respective destinations.
International airlines consume 250 to 300 kilolitres of ATF at TIA each day, according to NOC depot at TIA. Currently, NOC has only 1,614 kilolitres of ATF in its stock, which is enough to meet the demand of domestic airlines for the next 26 days,
as per Deepak Baral, spokesperson for NOC. Domestic airlines consume 60 kilolitres of ATF every day.
A version of this article appears in print on September 30, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.